What was wrong in the water at Camp Lejeune occurred due to decades of neglect. The water that residents drank, cooked with, and bathed contained contaminants and industrial chemicals that were not fit for human consumption. The end result was the development of serious health issues for many of the people who lived at Camp Lejeune over a period of more than 30 years.
Victims and their family members who suffered exposure can seek compensation, and a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer can help. While you focus on your health or tend to a family member, a lawyer from our firm can handle all the legal legwork and fight for justice.
What Contaminated the Water at Camp Lejeune
Two water sources at Camp Lejeune contained industrial chemicals and other dangerous materials. The primary issue at the wells serving the Tarawa Terrace water system was perchloroethylene (PCE). An off-base dry cleaning business used the chemical and failed to follow proper disposal guidelines. As a result, PCE found its way into Camp Lejeune’s water as early as 1953.
Then there was the Hadnot Point water supply, which had multiple sources of contamination. This water was found to contain vinyl chloride, benzene, and trichloroethylene (TCE), among other chemicals. It is hard to tell when contamination began.
Unfortunately, this contamination of the water was not adequately addressed until the 1980s. Over that time period, an estimated one million people were exposed to this contaminated water.
The Side Effects of Exposure to Camp Lejeune’s Water
Exposure to this contaminated water could produce a variety of health issues and serious illnesses. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has linked Camp Lejeune’s water to illnesses, including:
- Various types of cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Female infertility
- Birth defects
- Hepatic steatosis
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Renal toxicity
Many of these diseases can leave you with mounting medical bills and psychological trauma. Some of them can result in death or a severely diminished quality of life. Who should be held responsible for the damage caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune?
How Former Camp Lejeune Residents Can Secure Benefits
VA provides benefits for those who have suffered illnesses due to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Veterans, reservists, and guardsmen can all apply for benefits. Family members of the enlisted can also apply for benefits. Members of the military just have to show that:
- You served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 consecutive or nonconsecutive days between 1953 and 1987.
- You were not dishonorably discharged from the military.
A family member who lived there needs to show that:
- They lived at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 consecutive or nonconsecutive days between 1953 to 1987.
- They are a relative of someone in the military.
Additionally, you have to show that you are suffering from one of the medical conditions linked to the contamination of Camp Lejeune’s water.
Types of Benefits
VA disability benefits may cover your current healthcare costs. You may also receive compensation that helps reimburse you for the care you have paid for in the past. You need to have records of what you have paid in the past, information about your current diagnosis, and proof that you lived at Camp Lejeune.
How a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Attorney Can Help
If you suffered health issues as a result of your exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, an attorney from our firm can help. Our lawyers can:
- Help you gather evidence: your attorney can help you put together the needed records and other evidence that shows you are entitled to compensation. You are simply not going to receive benefits without the proper evidence.
- Navigate the application process: your lawyer will assist you with the benefits application process. VA needs various forms, info from your doctor, and more to properly evaluate your case. We will make sure that you have everything that you need for a successful application.
- Keep you updated on any changes in legislation: The Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 made it possible for more people to pursue benefits after living at Camp Lejeune. If there are any other bills or laws that could affect your ability to secure compensation, we will let you know.
- Take legal action on your behalf: Your best option may be to file a lawsuit against a liable party, and this is something our legal team can help with as well. You may be able to join a class action lawsuit to pursue compensation.
Learn More About Benefits for Camp Lejeune Residents
You can learn more about what was wrong with the water at Camp Lejeune, and you can take action if you suffered exposure during your time there.